Better Process Control School In-Person

Offered by UC Davis

BPCS at UC Davis

Our next Better Process Control School  will be held February 14-17, 2023 Please contact if you would like to be put on the email notification list.  (If you were enrolled in 2022, you're already on the list).  Registration will open for 2023 in late November of 2022. 

Registration is $825.00 per person.  

In-Person Event - CoVID procedures

We follow the campus guidance below.  Even though this event is not expected to have 100 or more people attend, we will follow the entrance requirement for an indoor event with hosted food and beverages. 

BPCS Agenda - 2022

Other options for BPCS at other institutions or online

What is the BPCS?

The Better Process Control School (BPCS) was established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for operating supervisors of commercial food canning operations. It is approved by the FDA and the California Department of Public Health, Food and Drug Branch. The UC Davis Better Process Control School is offered in conjunction with the Consumer Brands Association, the largest trade association serving the food and beverage processing industry worldwide. We also partner with the University of California Laboratory for Research in Food Preservation, who provides an experienced lecturer, and with Covance Food Solutions, who provides another experienced lecturer.

Link to many BPCS Worldwide Courses (PDF 462 KB) (Consumer Brands Association)  

Who Should Attend?

The BPCS was established primarily for operating supervisors, the individual who is in the plant at the time a canned food product is packed and processed. The school is particularly intended for operating supervisors involved in production of thermally processed low acid and acidified low-acid foods. Production of these canned foods is covered by FDA regulations 21 CFR 113 and 21 CFR 114. 

To determine if your product is an acidified low-acid food, consult the following document:

Instructional materials (books, lectures, examinations) will be given in the English language. Attendees must be proficient in English to attend the school; there is limited ability for instructors to provide additional tutoring should attendees have difficulty comprehending the material.  

Course Instructors

Erin L. DiCaprio, Associate Professor of Cooperative Extension in Community Food Safety, University of California, Davis (School Coordinator and Instructor)

Linda J. Harris, Professor of Cooperative Extension in Microbial Food Safety, University of California, Davis 

Kurt Wiese, Senior Process Engineer and Process Authority

Mark Deniston, Research Associate, UC Laboratory for Research in Food Preservation

Agency Representatives - from USDA, FDA, California Dept. of Public Health (Food and Drug Branch) and the California League of Food Processors.

Course Agenda 2023

Day One:

  • Introduction (Ch. 1)
  • Microbiology of Processed Foods (Ch. 2)
  • Closures for Double-Seamed Metal and Plastic Containers (Ch. 5)
  • Sanitation for Retorts and Atmospheric Cookers (Ch. 3)

Day Two:

  • Cleaning of Continuous Systems (Ch. 4)
  • Closures for Glass and Twist-off Plastic Containers (Ch. 6)
  • Introduction to Thermal Processing (Ch. 8)
  • Mild Thermal Processes (Ch. 15)

Day Three:

  • Retort Equipment and Operation (Ch. 9)
  • Batch Saturated Steam Retorts: Still and Agitating (Ch. 10)
  • Continous Rotary Retorts (Ch. 11)
  • Still and Agitating Retorts That Process with Overpressure (Ch. 12)

Day Four:

  • Hydrostatic Retorts (Ch. 13)
  • Aseptic Processing and Packaging Systems (Ch. 14)
  • Flexible and Semirigid Containers (Ch. 7)
  • Note: Class is scheduled to end about 2:45 pm. on Friday
  • Optional: Tour / Demonstration of UC Food Science & Technology Pilot Plant Facilities (a short walk from the class venue)

Enrollment Fee

The enrollment fee of $825.00 includes all instruction, course materials including the Canned Foods Manual (book), continental breakfasts, four lunches, parking permit, and morning and afternoon coffee breaks. Course materials and parking permits will be handed out on the first day, at the registration table.  We will email you the course agenda/welcome letter ahead of time.  After the course, certificates of completion will be emailed to each participant (and their instructor, if applicable).  Please allow four weeks after the course for certificates to be processed. 

Refund Policy

In the event that this course is canceled or postponed due to insufficient enrollments or unforeseen circumstances, we will fully refund registration fees. 

If you need to cancel after enrolling, for any reason, requests made via email for a full refund, less a $25 processing fee, may be made up until January 31st, 2023.  The credit/refund must be made to the card you used to pay with originally. After that date, no refunds will be given.  If you wish to substitute a person for your spot, please email to arrange.  

No refunds will given for any reason after January 31st, 2023; however, if you are sick, we ask that you not attend.  

Accommodations and Parking

For local hotel information please see the Yolo County Visitor's Guide website. You might find our visitor page helpful as well: "Visiting Davis, California" and "Welcome to Davis" from the UC Davis Postharvest Center.  Campus parking permits will be available to those attending the class.

When registering, please check the box on the online registration form to indicate that you will need a visitor parking permit.  Please park in Visitor Parking Lots 1 or 2, or the top level of the Gateway Structure (parking ramp).

Parking placards will be handed out at the check-in table on February 14th.  You will have to return to your car and put the placard on the dashboard. 

Directions to UC Conference Center  - Printable Directions

For questions regarding the technical content of the class, contact Erin DiCaprio; for registration information, contact Zann Gates.